Kucinich Legislation Ends the Extrajudicial Killing of U.S. Citizens

For Immediate Release

Kucinich Legislation Ends the Extrajudicial Killing of U.S. Citizens

Bill Protects Constitutional Right to a Fair Trial

WASHINGTON - Congressman Dennis
Kucinich (D-OH) announced today that he will introduce legislation that
would end the practice of targeting U.S. citizens for extrajudicial
killing.  Earlier this year, The Washington Post and The New
York Times
revealed that the Obama Administration was continuing the
Bush-era policy of including U.S. citizens on lists of people to be
assassinated without a trial. Kucinich has spoken out forcefully against
revoking the basic constitutional rights of American citizens for
simply being suspected of involvement with terrorism, and he is
currently recruiting cosponsors for his bill. 

"Congress has the responsibility to protect the
rights of all U.S. citizens," wrote Kucinich 

The full text of the letter follows: 

Dear Colleague:

Earlier this year, The Washington Post and The New
York Times revealed that the Obama Administration was continuing a
Bush-era policy of including U.S. citizens on lists of people to be
assassinated by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Joint
Special Operations Command (JSOC).  These citizens have had no trial.  

Under such a system, U.S. citizens are added to
the list simply for being suspected of involvement in terrorism, in
subversion of their basic constitutional rights and due process of law.
 Their right to a trial and to present a defense is summarily and
anonymously stripped from them.  Following the 2008 Supreme Court ruling
that detainees being held indefinitely in Guantánamo Bay were to be
afforded habeas corpus rights, thirty-three of thirty-nine detainees
were ordered released on the grounds of insufficient evidence to support
accusations of their involvement in terrorism.  If a U.S. citizen is
added to the targeted assassination lists based on accusations absent
judicial review, their punishment is death.  

In a hearing of the House Select Committee on
Intelligence earlier this year, Director of National Intelligence
Admiral Dennis C. Blair testified that the President authorizes such
operations if it is deemed that they are seen to pose a "continuing and
imminent threat to U.S. persons and interests."  Leading legal scholars
such as Bill Quigley, the Legal Director of the Center for
Constitutional Rights, and the UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial,
Summary and Arbitrary Executions are among the legal voices challenging
the legal authority
for the U.S. government to conduct
extrajudicial killings.

Intelligence operations that have virtually no
transparency, accountability or oversight raise serious legal questions,
particularly when the outcomes of such programs constitute possible
violations of international law and violations of the Constitution of
the United States.  Congress has the responsibility to protect the
rights of all U.S. citizens.  We must reject the notion that protecting
the constitutional rights of some citizens requires revoking the rights
of other citizens.  My legislation would reaffirm our commitment to
upholding our nation's basic constitutional principles, and prohibit the
extrajudicial killing of United States citizens abroad.  

                                                  
                   

Sincerely,

                                                  
                    
                                                  
                    
Dennis J. Kucinich        
                                                  
                    

Member of Congress

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